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Can't get it hot enough

Large Egg with a plate setter (legs down) and pizza stone - BGE charcoal - can't get it above 550 degrees....

any ideas to make it hotter for pizza?  More charcoal?  different vent openings?

Comments

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 25,061
    Is this the first time noticing this or the first time attempting the high heat cook?  It's all about air-flow with adequate fuel in the rig.  So, make sure your bottom and top vents are wide open (after leaving the dome open for a protracted time-frame) for starters and you don't have blockage between the bottom of the BGE and the charcoal grate.   Mother nature has not been impacted by the friggin virus at least on the fire triangle scale.  FWIW-
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • PlutoniumPlutonium Posts: 213
    if if my airflow isn’t great, I stick the ash tool into the bottom vent and tap the underside of the fire box grate. That usually gets it going again.

    I’ve also found that too many small pieces at the bottom of the OEM grate can limit airflow, so before I got the kick ash basket, I’d try to put some bigger pieces down there. 
    Albuquerque, NM - LBGE and an old rusted gasser that I use for accessory storage.


  • PlutoniumPlutonium Posts: 213
    Also, how much charcoal did you load? To sustain that high of temp for a long time, I always load it up to about the muddle of the fire ring. 
    Albuquerque, NM - LBGE and an old rusted gasser that I use for accessory storage.


  • gmooregmoore Posts: 5
    Thanks everyone - I'll give it a whirl next weekend with these tips !!
  • dmouratidmourati Posts: 1,110
    Another tip: get your temps up, then add the placesetter. Or better yet, get a spider+stone from CGS, more air flow.
    Mountain View, CA
  • RockyTopDWRockyTopDW Posts: 337
    I’d recommend taking the cap off of the top.  You want maximum airflow.
  • Over and above what has already been said, make sure your bottom vent and firebox opening are aligned. When adding lump, don’t use small bits and dust, which will choke airflow. 
  • GregWGregW Posts: 2,532
    It may have already been mentioned, if not, I always recommend using a completely fresh load of charcoal. Reusing charcoal that didn't burn in a previous cook is fine for hamburgers or hot dogs, but not for a cook where high temp is required.  
    Birmingham, AL
  • 500500 Posts: 3,160
    (That’s what she said.)
    I like my butt rubbed and my pork pulled.
    Member since 2009
  • attaboyattaboy Posts: 30
    dmourati said:
    Another tip: get your temps up, then add the placesetter. Or better yet, get a spider+stone from CGS, more air flow.
    Diddo, I set my temps then add the plate setter. I also found that the kick ash basket gives me a lot better air flow enabling me to reach higher temps much quicker.
  • carrda04carrda04 Posts: 83
    attaboy said:
    dmourati said:
    Another tip: get your temps up, then add the placesetter. Or better yet, get a spider+stone from CGS, more air flow.
    Diddo, I set my temps then add the plate setter. I also found that the kick ash basket gives me a lot better air flow enabling me to reach higher temps much quicker.
    Fully agree with this. I've cooked twice since getting a kick ash basket -- the first was low and slow with the half-spent lump that was left. The next day I did some tandoor-style cooking without adding any new lump and had to dial the egg back to keep it from blowing past 700. I wasn't certain it would have the oomph to get there as the coals were all somewhat burned, but turned out to be no problem at all.
    LG BGE
    Camp Chef 2xburner

    Twin Cities, MN
  • 1voyager1voyager Posts: 1,065
    edited April 2020
    @gmoore - After you try these great suggestions next weekend, please let us know if they solved your problem. 

    Best of luck.
    Large Egg, PGS A40 gasser and way too much Griswold cast iron cookware.

    Somewhere in Colorado.
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,458
    You have one (or a combination of) the these three things......not enough air, not enough fuel, or bad fuel.

    Kick Ash Basket, highly carbonized lump, and fill it up into the fire ring.  Vents wide open and stand back.


  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,783
    GregW said:
    It may have already been mentioned, if not, I always recommend using a completely fresh load of charcoal. Reusing charcoal that didn't burn in a previous cook is fine for hamburgers or hot dogs, but not for a cook where high temp is required.  
    Why?  Carbon is carbon. Or am I missing something?  If the used charcoal is all fines that are compacting and blocking airflow then you need to add new to unblock. But if the used is good sized I can’t see any reason to replace it.  
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
     
  • jetman96jetman96 Posts: 125
    I never use a fresh load. Knock off the ash, dump more in, light 'er up, and go. Clean out ash as needed.
    Cincinnati, OH
    Large BGE
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,458
    GregW said:
    It may have already been mentioned, if not, I always recommend using a completely fresh load of charcoal. Reusing charcoal that didn't burn in a previous cook is fine for hamburgers or hot dogs, but not for a cook where high temp is required.  
    Why?  Carbon is carbon. Or am I missing something?  If the used charcoal is all fines that are compacting and blocking airflow then you need to add new to unblock. But if the used is good sized I can’t see any reason to replace it.  
    There are less BTU's so it's more likely to burn out faster.  So if you light it off and once it gets the ceramic heated up, there might not be many BTU's left to sustain the whole cook at a high temp.  It's more of a BTU/cu-in vs. BTU/# in this case. 
  • You have one (or a combination of) the these three things......not enough air, not enough fuel, or bad fuel.

    Kick Ash Basket, highly carbonized lump, and fill it up into the fire ring.  Vents wide open and stand back.


    This right here. On high heat cooks I load up to the top if fire ring with good charcoal.
    My XL breathes good and doesn't need the KA basket, the Lg does need the basket.
  • GregWGregW Posts: 2,532
    GregW said:
    It may have already been mentioned, if not, I always recommend using a completely fresh load of charcoal. Reusing charcoal that didn't burn in a previous cook is fine for hamburgers or hot dogs, but not for a cook where high temp is required.  
    Why?  Carbon is carbon. Or am I missing something?  If the used charcoal is all fines that are compacting and blocking airflow then you need to add new to unblock. But if the used is good sized I can’t see any reason to replace it.  
    I'm not sure that I completely understand the processes at work here that results in the used charcoal not producing the same amount of heat on the second time cook.
    I certainly know that smaller pieces on charcoal inhibit airflow, but I have also thought that a lot of volatile compounds are released and burned from the charcoal during the first cook, without the charcoal being completely burned.  I could be entirely wrong in this line of thought. 
    Birmingham, AL
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